Quantitative trait loci controlling rice seed germination under salt stress
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Salt tolerance of rice (Oryza sativa L.) at the seed germination stage is one of the major determinants for the stable stand establishment in salinity soil. One population of recombinant inbred lines (RILs, F2:9), derived from a cross between a japonica rice landrace tolerant to salt stress and a sensitive indica rice variety, was used to determine the germination traits including imbibition rate and germination percentage under control (water) and salt stress (100 mM NaCl) for 10 days at 30 °C. The multiple interval mapping (MIM) were applied to conduct QTL for the traits. The results showed that seed germination was a quantitative trait controlled by several genes, and strongly affected by salt stress. A total of 16 QTLs were detected in this study, and each QTL could explain 4.6–43.7% of the total phenotypic variance. The expression of these QTLs might be developmentally regulated and growth stage-specific. In addition, only one digenic interaction was detected under salt stress, showing small effect on germination percentage with R2 2.7%. Among sixteen QTLs detected in this study, four were major QTLs with R2 > 30%, and some novel alleles of salt tolerance genes in rice. The results demonstrated that the japonica rice Jiucaiqing is a good source of gene(s) for salt tolerance and the major or minor QTLs identified could be used to improve the salt tolerance by marker-assisted selection (MAS) in rice.
KeywordsRice Germination Quantitative trait locus Salt tolerance
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31000748), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Grant No. BK2010452), the Science and Technology Innovation Foundation of Nanjing Agricultural University (Grant No. KJ09003), and the Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (PCSIRT). We thank reviewers for the careful reading of the manuscript and constructive comments.
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